Welcome to LHSA’s annual meeting in Wetzlar, Germany as we celebrate the culmination of our year-long Jubilee celebration. Not many organizations have bragging rights of claiming 50 years or service to its members.
For the past three years, your management team has been hard at work transforming the Society, making it more relevant to you. Perhaps even more importantly, we’ve reached out to a larger and younger audience of Leica users to help ensure our future. We’ve also formed collaborative alliances with Leica AG and USA to provide additive, on-going services for old and new Leica collectors and users.
We’re proud of the progress we’ve made. LHSA – The International Leica Society is a more trusted source for Leica information and a more relevant adjunct to the Leica brand than ever before. By positioning ourselves in a more aspirational posture, we’re attracting more new members, satisfying their wants, and helping them become who they want to be as Leica photographers.
With our rich cultural history and deep archive of Leica materials from the last 100 years, we are positioned to be a prominent source for those seeking historical knowledge about the Leica brand in general.
These achievements couldn’t have happened without leadership, focus, dedication, and your passion for Leica. We will continue to drive this organization to serve an ever-expanding Leica community, and become not just The International Leica Society, but to truly become The Go To Place for All Things Leica.
By week’s end, our success will be measured by how well we met your expectations for this event and if you leave with meaningful memories of our time together in Wetzlar. I’m confident that you won’t be disappointed. We want you to have fun learning and capturing satisfying imagery and making new friends while you are here. And lastly, we hope you will continue to come back for more of what LHSA has to offer!
Welcome to Wetzlar, the home of Leica and the fitting – if not perfect — site for the celebration of our fiftieth year of service to the Leica community. This meeting has been in planning for more than two years. Our good friend Stefan Daniel, the head of Leica’s camera business, told me in Vancouver in 2016 that we “must” come to the new Leica campus in Wetzlar and the idea began to take shape. Leica has been engaged with us from the beginning with generosity and many hours of planning work, and some great suggestions. Many thanks are due to Leica for welcoming us to their home. But what really made this meeting happen was the wonderful response from the membership; it is immensely gratifying that we have attendees from all over the world. We thank you for your enthusiasm, and we hope that our time together in Wetzlar will be educational, interesting, and fun.
The programming that has been organized to include a mix of “today” and “yesterday” with a factory tour, discussions with Leica executives, a keynote address by Matthias Harsch, Leica’s CEO, a tour of the newly opened Leica archives, a cemetery tour to see historically important Leica figures, presentations from members, and, of course opportunities for some photography in Wetzlar, in Marburg, and on the Rhine river.
One of the things that distinguishes our organization from the many photography sources out there is that we have real people. We are not just a website with electrons flowing back and forth. Our people – including you — are our real asset. This meeting is a great opportunity to say hello to fellow Leica enthusiasts from all over the world, learn from each other, and build friendships. That has been going on for 50 years now, but this is truly a special occasion and we are glad you are here.